Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Friday, October 21, 2016

A season for dyeing

This time of year, with the cooler temperatures and less to do outside, we move inward and for me, it's dyeing all kinds of colors. However this time of year I do love the fall colors. The picture above is some merino I had. I am getting ready for the New England Fiber Festival. So while the dye pots are simmering, I take a moment to grab a cup of tea and admire the lovely colors of Autumn.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Autumn insired dying day

With a fleece of mohair, I was feeling inspired with all the fall foliage, so I decided to copy the colors with some dyes. I filled the pot and added the dyes onto certain parts of the fleece in the boiling pot.

The colors blended nicely, giving more color to the next. I used about 10 different dyes, browns, reds, yellows and a hint of grey too!

My autumn inspired mohair could not be caught as well as it actually came out by the camera.

However the colors are amazing and I can't wait to begin to spin it.

A close up of the many different colors, all inspired by my favorite time of year, Autumn!

Monday, October 10, 2016

A day of beauty for the girls

It was time for the girls to have that one last hair cut before the cold weather sets in. Their coats are full of beautiful mohair.

Their ankles are so adorable with their cute curls...

and Pru's are even fuller!

With Maddie on the left and Pru on the right, they wait for their shearer to show.

Ron East showed up and got right to work with Maddie first, she's such a good girl!

We saved Pru for last who had some choice words for her captor!

A couple banana chips later made all okay again.

They are talking to us again! Now to get that beautiful mohair into the dye pot!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Welcome to the Coon Hollow Family little one!

We welcomed this handsome new  English Angora to our Coon Hollow Family today! He is a sweet handsome Blue eyed white buck aka BEW. Just 5 months old and already a big boy.

Such a happy boy too! The moment I put him in his cage he did a binky! Just in love with this boy!

Just look at those blue eyes! Now to find him a name, kinda thinking "Frankie" for old blue eyes! Thanks to Daniel Kuyoth for such a quality rabbit. We are truly in love with this boy!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

When bears attack!!!

Sadly it has happened, after 8 years of beekeeping our hives were hit by a bear early this morning. My heart dropped when I discovered them this morning. It seems to have only tipped them over. Tim may have startled them on his way out to feed the farm yard this morning.

It has decimated our neighbors hive and has discovered ours.  

We plan to harvest everything we can because I am sure this is not the end of the bear. I think its time for a bear fence! Or a nice dead bear! My neighbor has tried countless times to call the DEEP and she has fallen on deaf ears. when it comes to our livestock we will protect it at all cost!

Friday, October 7, 2016

The drones must die!

This time of year is sad, the end of beekeeping season but it is also the end of the drones life cycle. The worker bees chew off their wings and send them to their death. This was the scene on the landing board.

And this was the scene of the drone bees outside the hive on the ground. Dead drones, those slackers who the bees cannot afford as they move into the colder months. Here's hoping for a better season next year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wonder Dog versus Bear, and the winner...

...was the Wonder Dog! In the past 22 years we have lived here, we have never had to contend with a bear. Sadly loss of habitat, a dry summer and them learning to become habituated to humans all are a factor in the recent issues our town is having with bears. My neighbors had a bear hit one of their bee hives, but he was relentless and continued to be a nuisance, leaving us in great fear that our hives and animals were next! On Friday, my neighbor notified me that the bear was back. I have studied wildlife for over 20 years and put those theories into action. I have never actually contended with a bear before in my wildlife career but protecting what is yours kicks in and off Autumn the Wonder Dog and I ran after the bear, razing it until Autumn put it up a tree! This dog is amazing and the best tool we all have around here in protecting the livestock. The picture above is moments before she treed the bear! The last we saw of this bear, after 2 crazy women and a dog ran it off was it's ass end high tailing it out of here! It feared for it's life!

I fired up the smoker and harvested what honey I could pull. So many beekeepers have lost their hard worked honey to bears this year and I was not going to have that happen!

We had many frames like this one, that was filled with honey, capped and ready to pull. There are some frames that need more time. So far so good, no sign of the bear. Last we saw of it was it running off into the woods with a crazy terrier mix fast on it's behind heading North!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just enough!

Have you ever  had a project where you have had just enough? This happened to me the other day! I was crocheting a project and had just enough to finish and this was just after a friend at Fiber Arts had the same thing happen to her! It's always nice to have just enough!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What to do? What to do?

What to do, what to do with all those extra small balls of yarn? Make hair ties or wristlets!

I have so many small balls of wool, alpaca, angora bunny and mohair yarns. Not enough for a big project but just enough to make small projects.

Simply crochet around the hair tie, chain a few rows around and you get...

a bunch of beautiful hair ties or wristlets. We are getting ready for the New England Fiber Festival in November and working away at having a lot of different products. Find us at the Festival!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Grooming a Diva!

Grooming the rabbits is a hard enough task, but "Peachy" makes it really challenging. She's such a beautiful girl, she takes my breath away she is so pretty, but then when it's time to groom, I dread it. Here she is before...

and after, with much fighting and carrying on, she is groomed just before the weather gets cold.

She netted about a half a pound of wool! So soft and amazing. She may be pretty but she's a tough cookie!!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rendering beeswax the right way!

Over the years I have tried different way to render wax. Melting it, trying to filter it and then I saw a video online on a bee site that changed the way I do it, and it has made it 100% more efficient!
I purchased this small crockpot at a tag sale for a couple dollars.

Gathered some cheesecloth...

and some paper towels.

Some wax I had attempted to clean last year.

Then placing the paper towels across the crockpot, then laying the cheesecloth over that, and then placed the wax on top of that.

I then placed the top on and turned on the heat and waited.

When the wax was melted, I poured it into these ice trays I bought in a dollar store. They are the perfect mold to make quilting wax!

This is the finished product! Perfectly clean wax, packaged and ready to go. I love this process!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weaving a Dream

Some time back I warped this lap loom with some strong thick single ply alpaca, but that was where it ended until I had a dream about a black and white wall hanging, woke up and put it on the loom!

I started with some black mohair I had spun, putting it in the center, just like in my dream...

and then filled it in with the alpaca I had warped with.
It was a lot of work, back and forth, but it took the same form that the one in my dream had.

Up close of the weft, and yes it is as soft as it looks!

The finished product! Just like in my dream!!! I can honestly say, I wove a dream!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Improvising for results!

When even the most conventional and immediate tools at your disposal just aren't meeting your needs, you can always improvise and I did just that. I needed to make a small cord for a project I am working on and all my Lucets were just not small enough. I wanted a strong but small cordage about a foot long. I thought of pictures I had seen where the colonists used forks made of bone or wood to make their cordage for their uniforms so I went to the cabinet and got a fork!

I broke off the two center pieces and began wrapping my homemade "lucet" to make my fine cord.

Here is my finished project to scale with a penny! Just what I needed to complete my latest project! I am so pleased with the results, I used hand spun single ply alpaca. It is soft and strong, just right for what I need!